The Texas Wine School
2301 Portsmouth St Houston Texas USA
James King founded the Texas Wine School (TWS). Originally from England, King launched the TWS in late 2010 after he and his wife moved to Houston from Los Angeles. Before that, James ran sommelier certification programs at The Wine House.
King’s most significant contribution was to bring Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) certification to Texas. He also introduced certifications from the Society of Wine Educators, the French Wine Society, the North American Sommelier Association, and the Sake School of America. TWS was one of the first schools to offer wine certifications from multiple vendors.
In 2014, James moved to Arkansas for his wife’s job and sold ownership of the school to Liz and Paul Palmer, who were his students at the time. King retains a small piece of the pie in return for coming back a couple of times a year to contribute on the educational side. He currently runs the King James Wine School in Arkansas.
Liz runs the operation and teaches at least one class a week. They currently have a roster of a dozen instructors. Of note, the school offers a “Specialist of Texas Wine” class with Dr. Russell Kane. Since 2019, Walden Pemantle is the Director of Education, who previously worked at Vino Vero, a wine distributor located in Houston.
Paul is a partner in a large accounting firm and funded a significant school expansion. The TWS is now located at their wine storage facility, Art of Cellaring, which was developed in 2015. The building is a nondescript grey bunker of a building. The entrance is an iron gate entrance in the alley that leads into a wooded courtyard and the main door. . The school is located at 2301 Portsmouth St, in Houston. They also offer wine courses in Austin, at the Wanderlust Wine Company, which is located at 610 N. Interstate 35.
The Texas Workforce Commission is the licensing authority for proprietary institutions, including for-profit/proprietary vocational-technical schools. Like all other wine schools in Texas, this school is not an authorized school, as required by state law for professional schools. This is troublingly common for WSET franchisees, something we hope the Wine & Spirit Education Trust addresses. We feel WSET is not protecting its affiliated schools from potential legal scrutiny. In addition, the Texas Wine School became a (501)(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2019.
Frequently Asked Questions
What forms of payment are accepted at The Texas Wine School?
The Texas Wine School accepts Google Pay and all major credit cards, which are processed through FareHarbor.
How is The Texas Wine School rated?
The Texas Wine School is well-rated by SOMM, due to its high-quality programs and brick-and-mortar location. The school is also h highly rated by both Yelp and Google Business.